The message was very clear. . .the Lord said to me:
“My children must not feel threatened, but they must listen to and obey my Word.”
Then in a very special moment. . .He led me to Acts 20:24 in the Amplified Bible which says:
“But none of these things move me; neither do I esteem my life dear to myself, if only I may finish my course with joy and the ministry which I have obtained from [which was entrusted to me by] the Lord Jesus, faithfully to attest to the good news (Gospel) of God’s grace (His unmerited favor, spiritual blessing, and mercy).”
Here are seven things you should realize when you feel threatened.
1. None of these things shall move me
The Apostle Paul was not moved by a shipwreck.
He was not moved by being beaten.
He was not moved by being imprisoned.
He was not moved by being persecuted.
He was not moved by being publicly humiliated.
He was not moved by the criticism of people with less education and knowledge.
He was not moved by a snake wrapping itself around his hand.
He was not moved by being falsely accused.
He was not moved by his physical infirmity once the Lord said He was in it.
He was not moved by the doubts of or disappointment with those with whom he worked even though his heart was grieved for them.
There was only one thing and one thing only that moved the Apostle Paul. . .and that was completing his assignment with joy. . .doing the thing that God called him to do.
The Amplified Bible translation of Psalm 16:8 says:
“I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”
The Lord is to be set “continually” before us.
We are to just set God before us in tough times. . .good times. . .when we need Him and when we don’t.
According to Dictionary.Com the word continually is an action adverb that means: “habitually; without cessation or intermission.”
The New Living Translation says:
“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.”
When we put the Lord first. . .when we set Him above all other things and people. . .we have the confidence in knowing the He “is always with me.”
Not only is He always with us. . .but Hebrews 13:5 says:
“. . . I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Now let’s go a little further and look at the second key point to Psalm 16:8 which in the New International Version says:
“. . . I will not be shaken.”
Once again let’s look at the Amplified Bible translation which says:
“I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”
“I shall not be moved.”
2. Nor do I count my life dear to myself
Some people read this Acts 20:24 and think you should never strive to accomplish anything because you’re not to live your life to yourself.
Paul did not say that his life was invaluable. . .he just said his life was not dear to himself.
In other words, he had a higher calling.
Mark 8:35 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For whoever wants to save his [higher, spiritual, eternal] life, will lose it [the lower, natural, temporal life which is lived only on earth]; and whoever gives up his life [which is lived only on earth] for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it [his higher, spiritual life in the eternal kingdom of God].”
With Mark 8:35 in mind. . .let’s look at Acts 20:24 in The Message Bible which says:
“What matters most to me is to finish what God started: the job the Master Jesus gave me of letting everyone I meet know all about this incredibly extravagant generosity of God.”
What matters is that we finish what we start.
Acts 20:24 in the New Living Translation says:
“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”
3. If only
“If Only" is the battle cry of those who woulda, coulda or shoulda . . . but didn't.
The children of Israel said “if only” we had enough to eat. . .yet they forgot the One who delivered and provided for them. Not only that. . .the children of Israel had access to the One who delivered them.
Having access is of no consequence unless you act on what you have. Imagine having the key to a brand-new Audi A-8 but the access to this luxury ride won't do you any good unless you turn on the ignition switch.
“If only” is often a lament over what might have been without regard for what still can be.
There have been times in my life when I could have said “I told you so” to someone who ignored my advice, warning or instruction. I can tell you truthfully that I get absolutely no satisfaction in saying “I told you so” because it means somebody messed up.
Proverbs 5:12-14 in The Living Bible says:
“And you say, "Oh, if only I had listened! If only I had not demanded my own way! Oh, why wouldn't I take advice? Why was I so stupid? For now I must face public disgrace."
If there is someone you admire. . .someone you respect. . .someone whose advice you’ve found to be solid and on time. . .listen to the things they are speaking into your life.
If only you will A.S.K.
Matthew 7:8 in The Living Bible says:
“For everyone who asks, receives. Anyone who seeks, finds. If only you will knock, the door will open.”
I find it significant that the word ask is an acronym for ask, seek and knock.
James 4:2 in the New Living Translation says:
” . . .yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.”
Proverbs 11:27 in the Amplified Bible says:
“He who diligently seeks good seeks [God's] favor, but he who searches after evil, it shall come upon him.”
Revelation 3:20 in the New Living Translation says:
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”
“If only” you will ask, seek and knock you will receive the benefits of His blessings.
4. Be a finisher
Have you ever started a project, assignment or job with a sudden burst of enthusiasm only to be slowed down by the first roadblock and stopped short of your goal by continual obstacles?
Congratulations, you’re average. But you don’t have to stay that way. Those who rise above the crowd are the ones who go the extra mile while others are relaxing in front of the TV.
The strength of a person’s character and drive to success is determined by whether or not they can finish what they started.
Proverbs 24:10 in the English Standard Version says”
“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”
Employees who complete the task are more highly valued than those who, though they put forth some effort, nevertheless, fail to complete the project.
The One by whom our every effort, thought and action should be measured. . .was a finisher.
John 4:34 in the New Living Translation says:
“Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.”
Not only was Jesus a finisher but he made us that way as well.
Philippians 1:6 in the New Living Translation says:
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
On Judgment Day, we want to be able to say the words found in 2 Timothy 4:7 in the Amplified Bible which says:
“I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith.”
One of our favorite memories’ dates back to the 1968 Olympics held in Mexico City, Tanzania's John Stephen Akhware, with his right leg bloody and bandaged, staggered into the stadium more than an hour after the winner had crossed the line. When interviewed afterwards, he said, "My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race. They sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race."
That is what you call a winning spirit.
5. The anointing you operate under
Acts 10:38 says:
“How God anointed and consecrated Jesus of Nazareth with the [Holy] Spirit and with strength and ability and power; how He went about doing good and, in particular, curing all who were harassed and oppressed by [the power of] the devil, for God was with Him.”
First, God anoints you with the Holy Spirit.
Second, The Holy Spirit gives you strength, ability and power. . .beyond even what you thought possible or yourself capable of.
Third, You’re anointed to do good. . .to bless and help others.
Fourth, God will use you to bring inward and outward healing.
Fifth, The Message Bible translation of Acts 10:38 says that you will bring “…healing everyone who was beaten down by the devil.
Sixth, God will be with you. . .as you operate in the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Seventh, is the last part of Luke 4:18 in the Message Bible which you’re going to love. It says:
“. . . To set the burdened and battered free, to announce, "This is God's year to act!"
This is your year. . .this is your time to act. . .to operate under His anointing.
Amos 9:13 says:
“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine and all the hills shall melt [that is, everything heretofore barren and unfruitful shall overflow with spiritual blessing].”
The Message Bible translation of Amos 9:13 says:
“Yes indeed, it won't be long now." God's Decree. Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won't be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills. I'll make everything right again for my people Israel.”
One more verse. . .1 John 2:27 in the Amplified Bible says:
“But as for you, the anointing (the sacred appointment, the unction) which you received from Him abides [permanently] in you; [so] then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything and is true and is no falsehood, so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being rooted in Him, knit to Him], just as [His anointing] has taught you [to do].”
What does your anointing mean. . .it means that you have been enabled, entrusted, equipped and empowered to accomplish God's will on the earth.
6. Keep focused on where you’re headed
Hebrews 12:1-2 of the Message Bible says:
“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d bettergetonwithit. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way. . .”
What keeps you focused on where you’re headed. Here are seven keys found in Hebrews 12:1-2.
First, all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on. People who believe in you. . .mentors. . .saints who speak a word in season to you.
Second, better get on with it. Simply said, don’t talk about it. . .do it.
Third, start running and never quit. The only way you ever lose is if you quit. . .so, don’t.
Fourth, keep your eyes on Jesus. This will assure you’re always headed in the right direction.
Fifth, study how He did it. Follow His lead. . .His example. . .His instructions.
Sixth, because He never lost sight of where he was headed.
Seventh, that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way
The Apostle Paul was a man with vast knowledge of the Word, one who saw signs and wonders following his travels. . .one who raised up disciples. . .one who endured extreme persecution. . .and he speaks of one thing that he did in Philippians 3:13 which says:
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.”
Paul was reaching out to new things. . .new opportunities. . .new places. . .new people. He was not living in the past. . .if there was ever anyone who could have lived in the past, it was the Apostle Paul. But the scripture says that he left the past in the past and he journeyed on toward a new thing.
Philippians 3:14 says:
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
If you want the prize. . .to hear God say. . .”well-done my good and faithful servant” . . . then you’ve got to forget the past. . .reach out to do new things. . without looking back.
In verse 14, the Message Bible says: “. . . I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.”
There is one other thing I feel led to share here and it concerns a quote by D.L. Moody, the great evangelist, who once said:
"It is better to say, 'This one thing I do,' than to say, 'These forty things I dabble in.' "
7. You’ve got everything you need to thrive while others survive
Here are seven keys to thrive while others survive.
First, Allow Him to bring peace to you in the midst of life’s adversities.
When the storms of life are swirling around you and your family. . .you have to do as Jesus did. . .you must speak to your circumstances.
Mark 4:29-30 in the Amplified Bible says;
“And He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush now! Be still (muzzled)! And the wind ceased (sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was [immediately] a great calm (a perfect peacefulness). He said to them, Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no firmly relying trust)?”
Second, No weapon of any kind. . .financial or otherwise can harm you.
Take comfort in the words and promises of Isaiah 54:17 in the Amplified Bible which says:
“But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong . . .”
Third, Your heritage assures your victory.
The remainder of Isaiah 54:17 in the Amplified Bible says:
“. . . This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord.”
Fourth, Your needs are known in heaven.
Matthew 6:8 says:
“Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”
Fifth, You have a hedge of protection around you.
Acts 20:32 in the Amplified Bible says:
And now [brethren], I commit you to God [I deposit you in His charge, entrusting you to His protection and care]. And I commend you to the Word of His grace [to the commands and counsels and promises of His unmerited favor]. It is able to build you up and to give you [your rightful] inheritance among all God's set-apart ones (those consecrated, purified, and transformed of soul).”
Sixth, Your deliverance from bondage is coming.
Exodus 14:13 in the Message Bible says:
“Moses spoke to the people: "Don't be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians today for you're never going to see them again.”
Seventh, Not only is the Lord with you. . .but He will never fail you.
2 Chronicles 20:17 which says:
“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.' "
Deuteronomy 31:6 in the New Living Translation says:
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
As I was searching for a profound thought to close with. . .this was dropped in my spirit.
“Stop, you’ve shared enough. . .just tell my children to be doers of the Word.”BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS